Tuesday, January 2, 2018

New York City for Less: New CityPASS Hack

NYC for less: CityPass hack
Tourist in NY - ways to save money

If you have ever used a CityPASS, you know how convenient and valuable they can be. These booklets of top attractions at cities around the country offer discounted and skip the line privileges at popular tourist attractions. But the booklets themselves can be pricey and unless you use all the passes, you might not save money. The new New York C3 offers a choice of three of the top attractions, with a savings of up to 25%.

The NYC CityPass can save you serious money
The regular New York City CityPASS costs $122 per adults, and $98 per youth (The most expensive CityPASS, by the way, is Southern California. It includes a 3-day Disney park hopper pass, SeaWorld San Diego and LEGOLAND California and costs $353). For the NYC pass to make economic sense, you have to use all six passes, which means you need to have a long trip planned.
Save on a trip to the Top of the Rock
View from Top of the Rock

Great for short getaways

But what if you only have a weekend trip? Or you've been to New York City and have seen some of the pass attractions? The cheaper New York C3 offers a choice of any three of the following:
  • The Empire State Building Experience
  • Top of the Rock Observation Deck
  • American Museum of Natural History
  • 9/11 Memorial & Museum
  • Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises
  • Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum
  • Guggenheim Museum
  • Hornblower Sightseeing Cruises
Winner of the NYC CityPass hack
Save big at the Intrepid

 New York C3 Hack

The Metropolitan Museum of Art is one of the world's best art museums, but since you can 'pay what you wish', reserve your C3 for a more expensive place - but don't skip the museum! Even if you've been here before, a return visit is in order. And you can spend a full day, because you get same day admission to the Met Breuer, a short walk away, and The Cloisters, a subway ride way uptown).
NYC hack: don't use your CityPass at the Met
Temple of Dendur, Metropolitan Museum of Art

How it works

You typically have 9 days from the time you redeem your first pass to use all the passes in your booklet. You can buy booklets online and bring them with you, buy at some hotels, or buy at each of the attractions.
The C3 pass is only sold online. You can show the ticket on your phone, or print it out. And it is also good for nine days from the first redemption.

What can you get for free?

The 9/11 Memorial & Museum is free on Tuesday evenings after 5pm, so if you will be in New York City then, you might not want to 'waste' a ticket on a place you can get into for free.

What C3 pass is the most valuable?

 The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum costs $33 for adults and $24 for kids ages 5-12, so if this museum is on your NYC bucket list, use a pass here.
The Top of the Rock costs $34 for adults, $28 for kids ages 6-12.
But the grand winner is the Empire State Building Experience; it costs $54 for adults, and $47 for kids ages 6-12. Plus there are taxes and convenience fees. If you are planning to visit the Empire State Building, this offers the greatest savings.

On the water

  • Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises
  • One-hour Liberty Cruise
  • 30-minute ride on the BEAST, a 70-foot racing powerboat (available May-September. My kids love this thrill ride. Expect to scream. And get wet.)
  • Horn blower Cruises
  • One-hour International Sightseeing Cruise
  • Two-hour "Alive After Five” Happy Hour Cruise (seasonal)
  • Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island
  • Round-trip Statue Cruises ferry ride with stops at Liberty Island and Ellis Island, plus an audio tour on each island and Ellis Island Immigration Museum admission.
NYC for less: CityPass Hack

Time is money

Have you waited on an endless line at a theme park, aquarium or zoo and regretted not being a member so you could waltz past everyone else? With the CityPASS, you get to skip the line. But, this assumes you have bought the pass online, or redeemed it elsewhere. In other words, if you decide to first visit the Empire State Building, and validate your pass here, you will potentially wait in that hours-long line to start the pass. So use another pass first and then skip past all the other hapless tourists.

Where else can you go?

In addition to the two NYC passes, CityPASS offers booklets in:
  • Atlanta
  • Boston
  • Chicago
  • Dallas
  • Houston
  • Philadelphia
  • San Francisco
  • Seattle
  • Southern California
  • Tampa Bay
  • Toronto

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